Soft Maple Sugar Cookies with Maple Glaze

maple syrup dessert recipes

Maple flavor is, to me, one of the hallmarks of fall.  So when I came across this recipe from Family Circle magazine for SOFT maple cookies I was excited.  I love soft sugar cookies and add some maple syrup to the cookie and the glaze, well, its just darn *FABULOUS*!

Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Family Circle.

Twix Cheesecake – Delish!

recipes using candy

Another wonderful recipe from my friend Danielle!  I made it for my best friend’s grandson’s birthday – he loves Twix.  And what a hit it was! Easy to make too, thanks to Danielle’s instructions.  Check out her blog, Hugs&CookiesXOXO – it’s divine!

recipes using twix bars

Best Christmas Cake

 

christmas cake ideas

To say that your guests will love this cake is an understatement.  I served it and gave it as gifts throughout the 2012 holiday season and I’m already getting requests for it again this year!  For the cake layers I used my recipe for the Best Dark Chocolate but you should feel free to use any cake, from scratch or from a box, as the foundation of this terrific Christmas dessert recipe.

To create the crushed candy canes, I unwrapped a box of them (typically they have 8 to 10 to a box for under $2) and put them in a ziploc bag and used my meat pounder to crush them.  However, you can also use the bottom of a heavy pan, a rolling pin or a food processor.

I used less than 1 bag of Hershey’s® Candy Cane Kisses® to decorate the top of the cake.

Peppermint Candy Christmas Cake

  • 2 or 3 cake layers* (Diva Entertains Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe, if you’d like)
  • white buttercream frosting, recipe below or prepared frosting
  • 8-10 candy canes, crushed
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s® Candy Cane Kisses® (you will not use the entire bag), unwrapped
  • Wax paper strip

White Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 (32 oz.) package of powdered sugar (2 lbs)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6-7 Tbsp. of milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Put powdered sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use handheld electric beaters).  Start on low speed and beat sugar and butter together for 1 minute.  Add  vanilla extract and 4 Tbsp. of milk or heavy cream and turn mixer up to medium high for one minute.  Continue adding liquid, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until you achieve the frosting consistency that you desire (I like mine a bit on the thick and heavy side).

To Assemble and Decorate Cake:

Place one cake layer on plate or cake pedestal.  Place several dollops of frosting on layer and then spread to have a even layer (about 1/4″ thick).  If frosting is difficult to spread, run frosting spreader or knife under hot water and then flick to remove dripping water, then try frosting again.  The heat from the spreader will make the frosting much easier to spread.

Place second layer on top and proceed to frost top and sides with remaining frosting.

Once frosted, take a strip of wax paper (half the width of the side of the cake) and press it against the sides from the middle of the cake to the top so that the top half of the cake is covered.

Using your hands, press the crush candy canes against the lower half of the frosted cake.  When pieces fall on the plate/pedestal below the side, use your frosting spatula to lift and press into cake.

Place Hershey Kisses on the top of the cake in any pattern you’d like.  Press down gently to adhere Kisses to top of cake.

*I like to freeze my cake layers prior to frosting them as it makes them much easier to frost (barely any crumbs).  Once you have put on the desired  amount, remove the wax paper strip. You made need to smooth out the frosting that was hidden. To do so run frosting spreader or knife under hot water and then flick to remove dripping water, then smooth frosting.  The heat from the spreader will create a smooth finish.

 

 

Nutella Brownies with Dark Chocolate Chips – Wonderfully Easy and Delicious!

nutella dessert recipes

Although I’m very much a ‘from-scratch’ kind of gal; there are some times when you just can’t beat using a boxed brownie mix.  This Nutella brownies recipe is one such time!  It takes only minutes to put together  (no equipment needed) and bakes up incredibly rich and moist.  Be careful not to over bake – that’s a recipe for dry brownies.

 

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Bananas with Almonds

frozen chocolate bananas

These will definitely be *the best* frozen chocolate bananas you’ve ever had thanks to the addition of peanut butter to the chocolate dip and than a good roll in almond pieces.  The recipe, from Laura Rucker’s Got Chocolate Blog, is easy enough for kids to make.   You simply melt a bit of peanut butter with the chocolate until blended and smooth.  Dip the banana in it, then sprinkle with almonds or your choice of nuts.

Laura’s asked me to send our readers to her site for the actual recipe so please click here for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops Recipe.

Thanks, Laura!

Decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

peanut butter pudding dessert

This rich chocolate peanut butter dessert is over-the-top delicious!  With an easy homemade pudding recipe that just takes moments to make.  And although I made it with a homemade pie crust next time I’ll use a graham cracker crust.  So much easier and it will taste just as good (maybe even better)!

This recipe was based off one found in a Saveur magazine but I forgot to add the whipped cream to both puddings to lighten it.  What a fortuitous mistake!  So much richer this way.

 

 

Peach Blueberry Tart Recipe – Divine!

blueberry peach pie

This incredibly delicious peach blueberry tart has fast become one of my favorite dessert recipes!  You can use frozen fruit or fresh so that it can be made and shared at any time of the year.  If using frozen, do make sure you thaw the fruit prior to putting together.  The first time I made it I overlooked the directions that said to use ‘thawed’ and although still delicious, the fruit needed a bit more cooking.

This recipe and photo comes from the Oct/Nov. 1012 issue of Taste of Home (mine looks almost as good as theirs!).  Easier than a peach blueberry pie because you simply pat the crust into the tart pan, it is every bit as good.

Valentine’s Day Sweet Party Bites and Treats

You can read our recent Valentine’s Day posts with DIY ideas, HERE and HERE… but today’s post is dedicated to Valentine’s Day Party Bites… aka yummy Valentine’s Day party food!

From Amanda’s Parties To Go… a fabulous Valentine’s Day Sweet Shoppe Party post… lots of GREAT ideas for valentines party food and presentation.  I love the simplicity of taking store-bought items and jazzing them up:

From Bubbly Nature Creations – a Smarties Parfait recipe… such a great idea for Valentine’s Day!  Made of yogurt! Such a healthy Valentines sweet treat recipe!

From She Wears Many Hats, a Valentine’s Day Popcorn recipe and tutorial:  Way easier than you’d ever think!

From Sprinkle Some Sunshine, some adorable sweet heart pops:  If you have (or can find) candy canes these are so simple to make and the wow factor is so great!

And for those that are a bit more ambitious, from Sweet Sugar Belle, some adorable Valentine Owl Cookies… complete with step-by-step instructions for making them!

What sweet treats will YOU be making for Valentine’s Day?  We’d love to hear about them… leave us a comment, or send an email to char@divaentertains.com, and we might feature you in an upcoming post!

Rolo Cookie Recipe with Peanut Butter Chunks

chocolate rolo cookie recipe

Looks good doesn’t it!  Although this recipe originally called for chocolate chunks (larger than chocolate chips) I didn’t have any in the house but I did have mini Rolos!  They ended up being awesome!

I like my cookies thick and the best way to achieve that is to make sure that your cookie dough is cold or frozen when you put them in the oven (it you bake them right away they will still be delicious, but they will spread more and  be a bit crisper).

A friend on the recipe board I’m a part of posted this recipe from the Picky Palate blog. I’ve adapted it a bit below.

Olympic Fever!

Do you have Olympic Fever?  Are you planning an Olympic-themed event?  My sister is a HUGE Olympic fan, and we celebrated her son’s 1st birthday in red, white, and blue Olympic style this past weekend. Look at this cutie…

I figured my sister isn’t the only one who has Olympic fever, so I set out to find a few tutorials and DIY projects just in case!

UCreate has a fun week of Olympic DIY going on – you can check out the official post HERE.

 

Check out this delish looking Olympic Rings Fruit Pizza from A Taste of Home.:  To make this olympic dessert *really* easy, buy sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator section of your grocer instead of making it from scratch.

This post from Make and Takes is based around the winter Olympics, but these sherbet torches will work just as well (even better!) for the SUMMER Olympics:

And for tons of GREAT Olympic party inspiration, check out the Hostess blog.  There is a quick and easy tutorial for how to make Olympic rings!